How to save a graphic in a PDF file without a wide margin around it


This question already has an answer here:

  • Get rid of the white space around matlab figure's pdf output 16 answers

If I print a plot in EPS format, the content of the EPS file is fully occupied with the plot. But if I print a plot in PDF format, then there are big margins above and below the plot in the PDF file. How can I save a plot in a PDF file without the big margin around the plot?

My guess is how to automatically choose the proper "paper" size in a PDF file to print to, according to the plot size.

This is a question I have asked at, where I have got replies which mostly tried to solve the problem outside MATLAB, and I still don't quite understand the only reply that tried to solve from within MATLAB. So I would like to see if there are more opinions here.

What do you mean by "the proper size"? MATLAB figures are like vector graphics, so you can basically choose the size you want on your plot.

You can set the size of the paper and the position of the figure with the function set.


set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [0 0 5 5]); %Position plot at left hand corner with width 5 and height 5.
set(gcf, 'PaperSize', [5 5]); %Set the paper to have width 5 and height 5.
saveas(gcf, 'test', 'pdf') %Save figure

The above code will remove most of the borders, but not all. This is because the left-hand corner ([0 0] in the position vector) is not the "true" left-hand corner. To remove more of the borders, you can adjust the PaperPosition and PaperSize vectors.


set(gcf, 'PaperPosition', [-0.5 -0.25 6 5.5]); %Position the plot further to the left and down. Extend the plot to fill entire paper.
set(gcf, 'PaperSize', [5 5]); %Keep the same paper size
saveas(gcf, 'test', 'pdf')